I accompanied the Metropolitan Police on a dawn drug raid - and got to see a suspect arrested first-hand.

When I was invited to witness the raid in east London I was immediately intrigued, and I’ll admit a little bit nervous.

My alarm was set for 3am so that I could meet police at the designated spot in the early hours of the morning (Wednesday, May 29).

This is a bit of a change for me, since I’m used to working from the safety of my desk. But I was thrilled to have a change and get to tag along with police for the morning.

At the meeting point, there were already two police vans, and I was told there were more on the way.

Newham Recorder: Drug raid in NewhamDrug raid in Newham (Image: Newsquest)

While I write about crime across London day in and day out, both excitement and nerves started to kick in when I was stood among a crowd of Metropolitan Police officers.

However, more than anything I was looking forward to seeing just what police do every day to keep London safe.

When the time was right, I hopped into an unmarked police car and off we went with the aim of arresting a suspected drug dealer.

The police cars and vans all pulled up outside of a flat block in Canning Town in what seemed to me like a quiet, residential area.

I followed a long line of police into the building and was fascinated by how silent everyone’s footsteps were as we walked through the building to get to the flat in question.

Then, I waited with bated breath as the police officer at the front knocked on the door.

Once the door was opened, I immediately heard what sounded like chaos ensuing inside the flat as people shouted to alert one another that it was in fact police on their doorstep.

While I was slightly alarmed by this, the calm demeanour of all of the police around me definitely put my mind at ease.

I stayed outside of the flat so that a search could be carried out to determine whether the detained person needed to be arrested.

Newham Recorder: Police line up at a block of flatsPolice line up at a block of flats (Image: Newsquest)

This took quite some time as police checked the address from top to bottom, before concluding that they had found enough drugs at the property to make the arrest.

Despite the fact I could not go inside the flat as police searched, I was able to see the arrested man leave the flat and be escorted down to the police cars.

I sat down with Det Sgt Danny Cooper about the drug raids and, while he could not disclose information about how these investigations are developed, he said police are "relentless".

Newham Recorder: Reporter Emma Fradgley set her alarm at 3am to accompany police on the raidReporter Emma Fradgley set her alarm at 3am to accompany police on the raid (Image: Newsquest)

“We do see the harm these people cause, and we do want to stop it.

“We use every authority and every tactic available to us to target the highest harm people within these boroughs and everyone they are involved with criminally and we are relentlessly targeting them."

Similar raids across London, Essex and Kent on the same morning resulted in eight men, aged between 21 and 56, and two women, aged 26 and 57, arrested on suspicion of conspiring to supply crack cocaine and heroin.

It follows a nine-month investigation into the workings of a large Newham-based gang.

Newham Recorder: A man was arrestedA man was arrested (Image: Newsquest)

The gang is linked to the supply of crack cocaine and heroin in and around east London, police said.

All ten suspects were taken into custody at an east London police station and enquiries continue. 

Det Sgt Cooper said: “While it might seem nine months to arrest ten people may seem quite a long time, these people will be locked up for a long time and they will be taken off the streets for a long time (if convicted).”

During a search of the properties, officers seized around: 

  • Seven ounces of crack cocaine
  • Three ounces of heroin
  • Three ounces of cocaine hydrochloride
  • £15,000 in cash
  • £30,000 in high value assets
  • One hand gun